Higher education in Nova Scotia

Higher education in Nova Scotia

Higher education in Nova Scotia (also referred to as post-secondary education) refers to education provided by higher education institutions in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. In Canada, education is the responsibility of the provinces and there is no Canadian federal ministry governing education. Nova Scotia has a population of less than one million people [Statistics Canada. (2008, June 25). "The Daily: Canada's population estimates." Ottawa, Ontario Retrieved on July 29, 2008 from http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/080625/d080625b.htm] ] , but is home to eleven public and one private chartered university authorized to grant degrees [Nova Scotia Office of Immigration. (n.d.). "Universities, Colleges, and Trade Schools." Retrieved on July 29, 2008 from http://www.novascotiaimmigration.com/en-page1068.aspx] and the Nova Scotia Community College offering programs at 13 campuses [Nova Scotia Community College. (n.d.). "Campuses" Retrieved on July 29, 2008 from http://www.nscc.ca/About_NSCC/Locations/Campuses.asp] , and 6 Community Learning Centres. [Nova Scotia Community College. (n.d.). "Community Learning Centres." Retrieved on July 29, 2008 from http://www.nscc.ca/About_NSCC/Locations/Community_Learning_Centres.asp] The governing body for education in Nova Scotia is the Department of Education, of which Karen Casey is Minister of Education. [Nova Scotia Department of Education. (n.d.). "Department of Education." Retrieved on July 29, 2008 from http://www.ednet.ns.ca/]



1780s-1880s: The establishment of institutes of higher learning

King's College

In 1789, the University of King’s College in Windsor, Nova Scotia is founded by Anglican United Empire Loyalists, which is Canada's first chartered university and the oldest English-speaking university in the Commonwealth outside of the United Kingdom. [University of King's College (n.d.). "History." Retrieved on July 05, 2008 from http://www.ukings.ca/kings_2879.html] ] At the outset, King's College discouraged non-Anglicans from attending with Protestant and Catholic colleges emerging as a result. The first universities were intended primarily to preserve British traditions against American republicanism. Secondarily, they were to educate clergymen. [Harris, R.S. (1976) "A History of Higher Education in Canada 1663-1960." Toronto: University of Toronto Press, p. 27.] . King’s would be granted its Royal Charter from King George III to grant degrees in 1802 and the first student graduated in 1807.

aint Mary's College

Father Edmund Burke arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1801 and, on March first of the following year, he wrote to the Governor of Nova Scotia asking permission to establish a college for the education of young men. This would lead to the founding of Saint Mary's College, which was granted its license in 1806, although only Catholics were allowed to attend.Saint Mary's University Archives. (n.d.). "Digital Decades: 1802-1929." Retrieved on July 05, 2008 from http://www.smu.ca/administration/archives/decade_1802.html] On March 29, 1841, an act of the Legislature incorporated Saint Mary's which enabled degree-granting privileges for eleven years, and the act included a four-year annual grant of $1,622; then it received permanent power to confer degrees in 1852. Closed in 1880 due to lack of provincial funding, Saint Mary's would re-open in 1903, mainly due to the efforts of the Archbishop of Halifax, Archbishop Cornelius O'Brien. [Byrne, Dr. C. (n.d.). "Never Dies the Dream." Saint Mary's University Retrieved on August 05, 2008 from http://www.stmarys.ca/thetimes/aug02/article_dream.html]

Dalhousie University

Dalhousie University is founded in 1818 by Lord Dalhousie, who models the university on the University of Edinburgh, although instruction would not actually begin until 1838.Dalhousie University. (n.d.). "About Dalhousie: History." Retrieved on July 29, 2008 from http://www.dal.ca/About%20Dalhousie/History] Unfortunately, 5 years later the university’s first principle died and the university would remain closed until 1863, when it opened with 6 professors and 1 tutor. [The Canadian Encyclopedia. (n.d.). "Dalhousie University." Retrieved on July 29, 2008 from http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0002112] The Dalhousie University Act(1963) includes a suggestion of denominational representation on the Board of Governors in proportion to support of endowed chairs. By relying on private contributions, Dalhousie managed to avoid most of the instability of government grants and bureaucratic infighting. [Harris, Robin S. (1976) "A History of Higher Education in Canada 1663-1960." Toronto: University of Toronto Press, p. 104.] Dalhousie University awarded its first degrees in 1866. The student body consisted of 28 degree students and 28 "occasional students".

Acadia University

After founding Horton Academy in the town of Wolfville, Nova Scotia in 1828, the same Baptist Education Society of Nova Scotia created Queen’s College in 1838. The first students began in 1839 and 1843 saw four graduates emerge. [Acadia University. (n.d.). "All About Acadia." Retrieved on July 29, 2008 from https://acadia4u.acadiau.ca/acadia/about/about.ezc] It would be renamed Acadia College and receive its charter in 1841, finally becoming a full university in 1891. [The Canadian Encyclopedia. (n.d.). "Acadia University." Retrieved on July 29, 2008 from http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0000020]

t. Francis Xavier University

St Francis Xavier College was a Roman Catholic institution founded in 1853 in Arichat, Cape Breton, and moved to Antigonish in 1855.The Canadian Encyclopedia. (n.d.). "St Francis Xavier University." Retrieved on July 29, 2008 from http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0007074] In 1866, it gained university status and was renamed St Francis Xavier University and awarded its first degrees in 1868. [ St. Francis Xavier University . (n.d.). "Introducing St. Francis Xavier University." Retrieved on July 29, 2008 from http://www.stfx.ca/academic/adulted/program_description.html] In 1883, its ladies' institution, Mount St Bernard Academy, was founded and in 1894, it was affiliated with St Francis as Mount St Bernard College becoming in 1897 the first co-educational Catholic university in North America to grant degrees to women.

The University of Halifax

The University Act of 1876 is passed which states that Dalhousie, King's, Mount Allison, St. Francis Xavier, and St. Mary's will be regarded as Colleges of the non-sectarian University of Halifax, and that each will confer their degrees in the name University of Halifax. It was modelled on the University of London, England wherein it does not offer instruction, but rather examines those who present themselves for examination and confers degrees if they are successful. [Cameron, J.D. (1996). "For the People: A History of St Francis Xavier University" McGill-Queen's Press, pp. 70-72] Each College will receive a yearly government grant. [ Saint Mary's University. (n.d.). "History of Saint Mary's University" http://www.stmarys.ca/administration/externalaffairs/publicaffairs/history.html] In 1881, the University of Halifax is abolished and the provincial government withdraws all grant funding from Nova Scotia institutions. Higher Education institutions are forced to depend on individual supporters for support. [Waite, P.B. (1994). "The Lives of Dalhousie University: 1818-1925, Lord Dalhousie's College" Pp. 118-121 McGill-Queen's Press]

1880s-1930s: Development without funding

Oscar Wilde's much publicized lecture tour in 1882 stopped in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he advocated the support of art education. Wilde’s advocacy will be a precursor to the foundation of the Victoria School of Art in 1887, which would be renamed the Nova Scotia College of Art in 1925 upon receiving its Provincial charter. [NSCAD University. (n.d.). "About the university: Founding." Retrieved on August 05, 2008 from http://www.nscad.ca/about/history_1.php] Anna Leonowens, better known for her work as the tutor or governess to the King of Siam as portrayed in the book and film Anna and the King of Siam, along with a committee of citizens worked to found the school to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. [Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. (n.d.). "EDWARDS, ANNA HARRIETTE." Retrieved on August 5, 2008 from http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=7355] It would change its name again to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in 1969 and finally to NSCAD University in 2003.NSCAD University. (n.d.). "About the university: A new era." Retrieved on August 05, 2008 from http://www.nscad.ca/about/history_2.php]

At the School of Agriculture, which was established in Truro, Nova Scotia in 1885, Professor H. Smith , was the first academic to conduct agricultural research in the Maritimes which was funded by the government. In 1905, this school along with the Provincial Farm, established in 1889 at Bible Hill, and the School of Horticulture, established in 1894 at Wolfville, merged to form the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, which is now the third oldest center for agricultural education and research in Canada.Nova Scotia Agricultural College. (n.d.). "Historical Developments." Retrieved on August 5, 2008 from http://www.nsac.ns.ca/development/history/brief_history.asp] The new college would work to prepare and educate new farmers in aspects of field and animal husbandry, with many graduates moving on to pursue a degrees from the likes of Macdonald College at McGill University or the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph, Ontario.Ellis, A.D. (1999). "Shaped Through Service: An illustrated History of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. " Truro, NS: Agrarian Development Services]

College Sainte-Anne is founded at Church Point in 1890 by the Eudist fathers. This French language college will receive its Charter in 1892 and begin granting degrees in 1903. Now Université Sainte-Anne, it is Nova Scotia's only French language university. [Université Sainte-Anne. (n.d.). " Mission et historique." Retrieved on August 5, 2008 from http://www.usainteanne.ca/a_propos/mission.php]

Federal funds are made available in 1913 to encourage agricultural education. The Irish Christian Brothers take over the running of Saint Mary's University. Additional federal funds for agricultural education result in the creation and expansion of campus facilities at Nova Scotia Agricultural College to encourage new programs in Home Economics, Women's Institutes, rural science and youth training. Nova Scotia develops demonstration buildings to establish closer ties between the community and agricultural education, especially with the growing demand from governments for more food production during World War I.

In 1920, the main buildings of the University of King’s College burn to the ground. The College agrees in 1922 to accept funding from the Carnegie Foundation to rebuild under the condition that it affiliate with Dalhousie University and move to Halifax. King would pay the salaries of a number of Dalhousie professors in exchange for help managing academic life of the College. Students at King's would study at Dalhousie and its academic programs (except for Divinity) would fold into the College of Arts and Sciences at Dalhousie. [University of King's College (n.d.). "History." Retrieved on July 05, 2008 from http://www.ukings.ca/kings_2879.html]

The Nova Scotia legislature gives Mount Saint Vincent College the right to grant degrees in 1925, making it the only independent women's college in the British Commonwealth.Mount Saint Vincent University. (n.d.). "Our History." Retrieved on August 05, 2008 from http://www.msvu.ca]

The 1930s sees innovative initiatives by St. Francis Xavier University in areas of adult education, cooperatives and credit unions given emphasis as paths “to social improvement and economic organization for disadvantaged groups in eastern Canada.” [St. Francis Xavier University . (n.d.). "About St. Francis Xavier University: History." Retrieved on August 5, 2008 from http://www.stfx.ca/about/stfx-profile.htm#history] The Antigonish Movement gives momentum to these programs, which reach out to the community. [The Canadian Encyclopedia. (n.d.). "Antigonish Movement." Retrieved on August 5, 2008 from http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0000242]

1930s to the present: Modernizing the system of higher education

Nova Scotia’s "Education Act" is revised in 1953 and consolidated. A modern Department of Education is formed. [Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management. (n.d.). "Government Administrative Histories Online." Retrieved on August 5, 2008 from http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/gaho/authority.asp?ID=31]

Through the 1960s, the degree program at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College is officially recognized as a Maritime program by the four Atlantic Provinces and later the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission for vocational and technical education.

Mount Saint Vincent College became Mount Saint Vincent University in 1966 and, as part of its new charter, the following year, men are admitted for the first time.

By 1969, the newly renamed Nova Scotia College of Art & Design is given authority to grant degrees and plans are in place to move it to downtown Halifax. By the 1970s, NCSAD an international reputation with notable artists who lectured, taught, or collaborated alongside students and faculty including Joseph Beuys, Eric Fischl, Vito Acconci, Sol LeWitt, Michael Snow, Joyce Wieland, Hans Haacke, Claes Oldenburg, A.R. Penck, Krzysztof Wodiczko and John Baldessari.

The Atlantic School of Theology is founded in 1971 through the co-operation of the Divinity Faculty of the University of King’s College (Anglican Church of Canada), Holy Heart Theological Seminary (The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Halifax) and Pine Hill Divinity Hall (United Church of Canada). It was granted degree-granting powers in 1974 when it was incorporated by an Act of the Legislature. [ Atlantic School of Theology. (n.d.). "AST’s History." Retrieved on August 6, 2008 from http://www.astheology.ns.ca/]

Cape Breton University was founded as the first university college in 1974 on Cape Breton Island when the Nova Scotia Eastern Institute of Technology and Xavier Junior College merged. The new institution, then named University College of Cape Breton, became a public degree-granting institution, while retaining many of the technical and vocational programs from the former institute of technology. [The Canadian Encyclopedia. (n.d.). "University College." Retrieved on August 5, 2008 from http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0010058]

Legislation allows the Nova Scotia Agricultural College to grant a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture or negotiate academic agreements with other institutions for degree-granting purposes in 1980. One such agreement was developed with Dalhousie University. In 1981 NSAC registered its first students for the B.Sc.(Agr.) in specializations including Agricultural Economics, Animal Science, Plant Protection and Plant Science. By the 1990s, graduate programs began for NSAC supervised M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees conferred by Dalhousie University. [Nova Scotia Agricultural College. (n.d.). "Degree Granting Adds Further Development." Retrieved on August 7, 2008 from http://www.nsac.ns.ca/development/history/brief_history.asp]

A Royal Commission in 1985 on post-secondary education recommended greater coordination amongst Nova Scotia universities to act as a "system". Nova Scotia. (1985). "Report of the Royal Commission on post-secondary education. " Halifax, NS: Queen’s Printer.] Occupational and continuing education are also addressed as part of the Commission and recommendations encourage higher visibility of these programs to the public to address the labour market. The Department of Human Resources Development and Training, whose name would change to The Department of Vocational and Technical Training the following year, was established to assume responsibility, formerly held by the Department of Labour, for labour market programs, apprenticeship, and vocational, trades, technical and technological training. By 1987, it would assume responsibility for post-secondary education and change its name again to Advanced Education and Job Training. Finally, in 1992 it was dissolved it its function was absorbed by the Department of Education. [Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management. (n.d.). "Nova Scotia. Department of Advanced Education and Job Training." Retrieved on August 7, 2008 from http://gov.ns.ca/nsarm/gaho/authority.asp?ID=3]

The Nova Scotia Community College was formed in 1988 to focus on training and education, amalgamating the province's former vocational schools and removing duplicate programs. In 1996 the College was separated from the Department of Education and Culture when the "Southwestern Nova Scotia Community Colleges Act" [Government of Nova Scotia. (1989). "Southwestern Nova Scotia Community College Act." c. 17, s. 1., Retrieved on April 28, 2008 from http://www.gov.ns.ca/legislature/legc/statutes/southwes.htm] is enacted and becomes governed by its own board. [Nova Scotia Community College. (n.d.). " The Portfolio College: A New Model for Technical/Vocational Education." Retrieved on August 7, 2008 from http://www.nscc.ca/News_Events/Publications/Portfolio_College.asp ]

In 1994 the Department of Tourism and Culture was merged into the Department of Education, which took over responsibility for cultural affairs and changed its name to the Department of Education and Culture. By 1999, cultural affairs and heritage was reassigned to the Department of Tourism and Culture, and the name Department of Education is restored. [Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management. (n.d.). "Nova Scotia. Department of Education." Retrieved on August 7, 2008 from http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/gaho/authority.asp?ID=31]



Department of Education

The mission of Nova Scotia's Department of Education is "to provide excellence in education and training for personal fulfillment and for a productive, prosperous society.” [Nova Scotia Department of Education. (2007). "Minister and Department." Retrieved September 9, 2008 from http://www.ednet.ns.ca/index.php?&t=sub_pages&cat=2] The higher education system in Nova Scotia includes the governing Department of Education, which is made up of 8 operational units including the Higher Education Branch which overseas Nova Scotia’s eleven undergraduate and graduate degree granting universities; The Nova Scotia Community College, which offers post-secondary programs leading to a Certificate or Diploma; and Private Career Colleges offering occupational training. In addition the Branch is responsible for Student Financial Assistance, Post-Secondary Disability Services, and the Provincial Library. [Nova Scotia Department of Education. (2007). "Department of Education Business Plan 2007-2008." Retrieved September 9, 2008 from http://www.ednet.ns.ca/pdfdocs/businessplan/bp2007-08.pdf]


Nova Scotia's Department of Education produces an Accountability Report [Nova Scotia Department of Education. (2007). " Nova Scotia Department of Education Annual Accountability Report For Fiscal Year 2006–2007." Retrieved September 9, 2008 from http://www.ednet.ns.ca/pdfdocs/businessplan/accountability-report-2006-2007.pdf] each year, as well as a Business Plan [Nova Scotia Department of Education. (2007). "Department of Education Business Plan 2007-2008." Retrieved September 9, 2008 from http://www.ednet.ns.ca/pdfdocs/businessplan/bp2007-08.pdf] that includes the goal of providing relevant and high-quality post-secondary education and training. Performance measures include establishing targets for tuition fees and increasing enrolment, with emphasis on specific populations.

Institutional governance

Universities are autonomous entities incorporated by legislative Acts. Canadian higher education institutions have a common bicameral model of institutional governance including a corporate Board of Governors responsible for the institution’s financial and administrative matters and a Senate with responsibilities for academic matters. The specific composition and authority of these two bodies are specified in the individual institutional Charters. [Jones, G.A. (1997). "A Brief Introduction to Higher Education in Canada." in Jones, G. (ed.) "Higher Education in Canada: Different Systems, Different Perspectives." New York: Garland, p.4]

Higher education institutions

Private institutions

Private career and vocational colleges specialize in vocational training. A list of registered colleges are provided by the Department of Education. [Nova Scotia Department of Education. (n.d.). "Registered Colleges." Retrieved September 9, 2008 from http://pcc.ednet.ns.ca/schools.shtml] The "Private Career Colleges Regulations Act" regulates these institutions. [Nova Scotia Department of Education. (1998). "Private Career Colleges Regulation Act", S.N.S. 1998, c. 23. Retrieved on September 9, 2008 from http://www.canlii.org/ns/laws/sta/1998c.23/20080717/whole.html]


Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU)

Established in 1964, the Association of Atlantic Universities is a voluntary association of the 17 universities in the Atlantic region and in the West Indies which offer programmes leading to a degree or have degree-granting status. One of the fundamental roles of the association is to create greater awareness and understanding of the important contribution of universities to the social and economic development of the Atlantic Provinces. The Association's business is conducted by the AAU Council, which consists of the executive heads of all the member institutions. The AAU currently meets two times a year and is served by a permanent secretariat. The activities of the Association are funded principally through annual membership fees based on the operating income of the member institutions. [Association of Atlantic Universities (n.d.). "About AAU." Retrieved on September 9, 2008 from http://atlanticuniversities.ca/AbsPage.aspx?siteid=1&lang=1&id=2]

Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training (CAMET)

The Atlantic ministers responsible for education and training signed an agreement in April 2004 under which the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island agreed to collaborate on joint undertakings to respond to the needs identified in public and post-secondary education. CAMET is dedicated to further enhancing the level of cooperation in public and post-secondary education by working on common issues to improve learning for all Atlantic Canadians, optimize efficiencies and bring added value to provincial initiatives and priorities. [Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training (n.d.). "Home page." Retrieved on September 9, 2008 from http://www.camet-camef.ca/default.asp?mn=1.19.22]

Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission (MPHEC)

The MPHEC was created in 1974 to assist Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and their institutions in attaining a more efficient and effective utilization and allocation of higher education resources. It provides quality assurance, data and information sharing, cooperative action, and regional programmes as well as specific services to one or more provinces or institutions as agreed to by the Ministers of Education. [Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission. (n.d.). "Mandate." Retrieved August 29, 2008, from http://www.mphec.ca/english/about.html]


Postsecondary education funding formula

In 1995, the Nova Scotia Council on Higher Education (NSCHE) began a process to review and recommend a new Funding Formula for Nova Scotia's universities. This process attempted to acknowledge considerable changes in enrollment and new programs at several universities, and the new formula was approved by government for fiscal 1998-99. The new Funding Formula has two major components: Unrestricted operating grants (96%) and Restricted operating grants (4%). The Unrestricted operating grants are broken down into three components: the Weighted Enrolment Grant (WEG); the Research Grant and the Extra Formula Grants. The WEG accounts for approximately 91% of the total operating funding provided to universities. Extra Formula Grants take into consideration unique characteristics such as size; French-language instruction; part-time students; isolation (distance from Halifax). [Nova Scotia Council on Higher Education. (1998). "University Funding Formula Technical Report." Retrieved on May 31, 2008 from http://www.ednet.ns.ca/pdfdocs/post-secondary-university/funding_formula_techreport.pdf] The Memorandum of Understanding between the government and the universities were negotiated for 2004-08 and from 2008-2011 based on this funding model. [Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents. (2008). "Memorandum Of Understanding Between The Province of Nova Scotia and The Nova Scotia Universities." Retrieved October 3, 2008 from http://www.ednet.ns.ca/pdfdocs/post-secondary-university/MOU-Prov_Univ_2008.pdf]

Enrolment of undergraduate students in Nova Scotia universities is noteworthy as it impacts the funding formula. Nova Scotia has a disproportionate number of out of province students, more than any other province in the country. The calculation that is based on a per-capita basis does not include out-of-province students, thereby bringing no provincial support from their home province. [Cameron, D. (2000). Equity and purpose in financing universities: the case of Nova Scotia. "Canadian Public Administration", 43(3), pp.296-320.] In 2003, university funding provided by the provincial government was $205 million, which continues to be lower than the transfer of $211 million provided in 1992. Government grants covered only 41.9% of operating costs in 2001-02, the lowest proportion of any Canadian province. [Doherty-Delorme, D., & Shaker, E. (Eds.). (2004). "Missing Pieces V: An Alternative Guide to Canadian Post-secondary Education." CCPA Retrieved on May 7, 2008 from http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_Pubs/missing_pieces5.pdf]


Tuition at Nova Scotian post secondary institutions are set by the individual institutions, in consultation with government. Average undergraduate tuition fees for domestic residents as of 2008 are $5,878. Average graduate tuition fees for domestic residents is $7,598. [Statistics Canada. (2007). "University Tuition Fees." The Daily. Retrieved June 2, 2008 from http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/071018/d071018b.htm]

Financial aid

Student Loans Programs

Full-time student loan funding in Nova Scotia is based on two programs, the Canada Student Loans Program and the Nova Scotia Student Loans Program. Students enrolled in at least 60% of a full-time programs are eligible to receive up to $210/week from the Federal program and $165/week from the provincial program. [Government of Canada. (n.d.). "Student Loans, Grants and Scholarships." Retrieved October 3, 2008 from http://www.canlearn.ca/eng/postsec/getloan/index.shtml] [Nova Scotia Department of Education. (n.d.). "Student Assistance: General Information." Retrieved October 3, 2008 from http://studentloans.ednet.ns.ca/2008/geninfo01.shtml#03]

Millennium Access Bursaries in Nova Scotia

The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation was established in 2005 to provide support to students with demonstrated financial need. The millennium access bursaries have been distributed in the form of grants to single, dependent, low-income students. There are two groups of eligible students: those who began post-secondary studies during the 2005/06 academic year, and those who are began studies in 2006/07. Millennium access bursaries are not available to students who have enrolled after the end of the 2006/07 academic year. Eligible students were able to receive a $1,000 grant in their first year of study, $2,200 in the second year, and $1,800 in the third. Students must have been enrolled full-time in undergraduate studies that lead to a degree, certificate or diploma in a program of at least two years in length. Students who qualify for financial assistance from Nova Scotia Student Financial Services will be automatically considered for a cash grant of $1,000. [Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation (n.d.). "Millennium Access Bursaries - Nova Scotia, Eligibility Criteria." Retrieved May 20, 2008 from http://www.millenniumscholarships.ca/en/programs/RulesNS.asp]

Research funding

The Atlantic Innovation Fund was launched in 2001 to provide an additional $300 million for investment in the region's infrastructure. It was expected that a large proportion of the funds aimed at research and development would go towards the province's universities. [Cameron, D. (2004) "Collaborative Federalism and Post-secondary Education: Be Careful What You Wish For." John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy.] The higher education sector in Nova Scotia represents 60% of the R&D conducted in the province, a contribution which is twice the national average. [Association of Atlantic Universities. (2006). "The Economic Impact of Universities in the Atlantic Provinces." Retrieved on April 28, 2008 from http://www.atlanticuniversities.ca/AbsPage.aspx?siteid=1&lang=1&id=6]


Participation in post-secondary education in the Maritimes in general is higher than the national average, with participation rates in Nova Scotia in particular of 35-40% compared to 20-26% for Canada as a whole. [Trends in Maritime Higher Education. (2003). "Profile of Maritime University Students: Enrolment, Participation, and Degree Completion. " 2(1), p.7. Retrieved August 7, 2008 from http://www2.mphec.ca/english/pdfs/TrendsV22003E.pdf] Demand for skilled labour has prompted an increase in participation rates from the nation's post-secondary institutions. [Human Resources and Social Development Canada. (2007). "Looking-Ahead: A Ten-Year Outlook for the Canadian Labour Market, 2006 - 2015. " Ottawa: HRDC. Retrieved August 7, 2008 from http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/publications_resources/research/categories/labour_market_e/sp_615_10_06/page03.shtml#highlights] However, the number of 18-24 year olds in Nova Scotia and the rest of the Maritime provinces are predicted to decline greater than the rest of Canada. Between 1990 and 2000, the number of 18-24 year olds dropped 13% in the Maritimes while in the rest of Canada, it dropped less than 1%. [Trends in Maritime Higher Education. (2003). "Profile of Maritime University Students: Enrolment, Participation, and Degree Completion. " 2(1), p.8. Retrieved August 7, 2008 from http://www2.mphec.ca/english/pdfs/TrendsV22003E.pdf]

National enrollment

From 2000 to 2006, over 32,000 full-time and part-time students were enrolled in Nova Scotia's 11 universities. [Maritimes Provinces Higher Education Commission. (2007). "Table 3: Undergraduate Enrolment by Province of Study, and University in the Maritimes, and Permanent Province of Residence: 2000-2001 to 2006-2007." Retrieved August 7, 2008 from http://www2.mphec.ca/english/pdfs/TrendsTbl03en.pdf] In 2006-07, 61% of Nova Scotians aged 25-54 had a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree. This is on par with the national average for Canadians with post-secondary credentials. Over a five-year period, the number of credentials issued by Nova Scotia’s institutions increased by 9.4%. [Nova Scotia Department of Education. (2007). "Nova Scotia Department of Education Annual Accountability Report For Fiscal Year 2006–2007" Retrieved May 12, 2008, from http://www.ednet.ns.ca/pdfdocs/businessplan/accountability-report-2006-2007.pdf] Nova Scotians make up two thirds of those enrolled in the province's institutions and of the Maritime provinces, participation in university education is greatest among Nova Scotia residents. The majority of out of province students come from Ontario. In fact, the peak of undergraduate enrolment in the Maritimes was in 2003, attributable to changes in Ontario, where the graduating class doubled in the province upon the elimination of its grade 13 year of high school.Trends in Maritime Higher Education. (2007). "Surveying The Enrolment Landscape: Factors And Trends in Maritime University Enrolment 2000-2001 to 2006-2007." 5(1), Retrieved August 7, 2008 from http://www2.mphec.ca/english/pdfs/TrendsSurveyingen.pdf]

First Nations

Nova Scotia’s universities, through the Atlantic Association of Universities, have developed working relationships with leaders of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs to better understand critical issues concerning access for and increased graduation of Aboriginal learners. [Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs. (n.d.). "About Us." Retrieved August 7, 2008 from http://www.apcfnc.ca/aboutus.asp?searchwords=education] For example, Sydney's Membertou First Nation and the Nova Scotia Community College signed a memorandum of understanding in 2004 that focuses on three key components: customized training programs relevant to Membertou’s employment opportunities, high school transition support programs and information technology initiatives. [Nova Scotia Community College. (2004). "Media Releases: Membertou and NSCC announce landmark education alliance to build Membertou's skill capacity." Retrieved August 7, 2008 from http://www.nscc.ca/News_Events/Media/2004/11-05-04-01.asp] Since 1996, the Council on Mi'kmaq Education (CME) has worked to provide guidance and advice to Nova Scotia’s Minister of Education on programs development and funding for the Mi'kmaq people of the province. [Council on Mi'kmaq Education. (n.d.). "About the Council on Mi'kmaq Education." Retrieved August 7, 2008 from http://cme.ednet.ns.ca/about.shtml] Similarly, the Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey serves various Mi'kmaw communities in the province. [Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey. (n.d.). "Home Page." Retrieved August 7, 2008 from http://kinu.ns.ca/] The Mi'kmaq Liaison Office (MLO) works as a liaison between the Department of Education and the aboriginal community of Nova Scotia. [Mi'kmaq Liaison Office. (n.d.). "Pjila'si! Welcome!." Retrieved August 7, 2008 from http://mikmaq.ednet.ns.ca/]


In largely urban areas such as Halifax, participation of female students has increased steadily over the last twenty years. Conversely, the proportion of full-time male students have declined by 9% in the Maritimes. Women who complete a university degree earn 50% more than female high school graduates. Those between the age of 20-34 years old in metro or rural areas are only marginally different in their completion rates for high school. However, when compared to women who have completed post-secondary studies, the gap widens, particularly in University certificate, diploma or degree programs. Women in metro areas average 34.8% completion to 15.9% in rural areas. [Status of Women Canada. (2005). "Public Policy and the Participation of Rural Nova Scotia Women in the New Economy." Retrieved May 11, 2008 from http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/pubs/pubspr/0662403436/200505_0662403436_3_e.html.]

Rural and urban participation

Urban and rural students have relatively equal access to universities in the province due to the good number and well distributed campuses throughout the province. There are financial implications for rural students resulting in graduates borrowing nearly $5,000 or 24% more than those from urban areas. [Trends in Maritime Higher Education. (2008)."Outcomes of Rural and Urban Maritime University Graduates.", 6(1) Retrieved June 27, 2008 from http://www2.mphec.ca/english/pdfs/TrendsOutcomesEn.pdf.] Nearly 24% of urban residents held a university degree, compared to 9-12% of rural residents in Canada overall. [Statistics Canada. (2006). "The influence of education on civic engagement: differences across Canada’s rural-urban spectrum." Rural and Small Town Canada Analysis Bulletin, 7(1). Retrieved June 27, 2008 from http://www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/21-006-XIE/21-006-XIE2006001.pdf]

tudents with disabilities

The number of students with a disability that have graduated from post secondary institutions in the province has grown 45%, from 2003 to 2006. This is due to the increasing number of students accessing an increasing number of services and resources offered by government and the institutions they attend. [Nova Scotia Department of Education. (2007). "Canada-Nova Scotia Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities Annual Report 2006-07." Retrieved May 18, 2008 from http://psds.ednet.ns.ca/documents/Labour_Market_Agreement_Disabilities_Report_2007_000.pdf] The Post Secondary Disability Services is a web-based resource that outlines grants, services and contacts for post-secondary students with disabilities. [Post-Secondary Disability Services. (n.d.). "Home page." Retrieved May 18, 2008 from http://psds.ednet.ns.ca] Government grants are available including the Canada Study Grant for Accommodation for Students with Permanent Disabilities and the Canada Access Grant and for Students with Permanent Disabilities. [Human Resources and Social Development Canada. (n.d.). "Grant for Students with Disabilities." Retrieved August 9, 2008 from http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/learning/canada_student_loan/grant2.shtml]

International students

Nova Scotia and its 11 universities attract students from around the world. In 2004-2005, there were 3,594 full-time international students attending Nova Scotia universities and community colleges. This accounts for 11% of total students enrolled in Nova Scotia undergraduate programs, above the 7% national average. [Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada. (2007). "Trends in Higher Education: Volume 1. Enrolment." Retrieved on August 5, 2008 from http://www.aucc.ca/_pdf/english/publications/trends_2007_vol1_e.pdf] Universities set their own tuition fees for international students and there are ceilings for the number of students receiving grants in Nova Scotia with only 10% of undergraduate and 30% of graduate students receiving them. [Snowdon, K. (2005). "Without a Road

Financial accessibility

University tuition fees in Nova Scotia are among the highest in the country. This is in large part due to low government grants to fund university operating costs. [Statistics Canada. (2007, October 18). "The Daily: University tuition fees." Ottawa, Ontario Retrieved on August 9, 2008 from http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/071018/d071018b.htm] This underfunding, the lowest in the country, has caused tuition in the province to double over the past decade. As a result, fees in Nova Scotia far surpass the median income or saving potential of its population. Other shortages make the province inaccessible to students, such as the elimination of the loan remission program in 2000. It is the only province without a non-repayable student financial assistance program. [Doherty-Delorme, D., & Shaker, E. (Eds.). (2004). "Missing Pieces V: An Alternative Guide to Canadian Post-secondary Education." CCPA Retrieved on August 9, 2008 from http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_Pubs/missing_pieces5.pdf ]


The Atlantic Provinces Community College Consortium (APCCC) is an inter-provincial organization which gathers and disseminates resources to improve college-level postsecondary education in the Atlantic provinces. An important aspect of the APCCC is to provide maximum mobility for students learning throughout the postsecondary education system in Atlantic Canada. It is composed of four college systems; Nova Scotia Community College, the College of the North Atlantic in Newfoundland and Labrador, Holland College in Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick Community College. [Steve Garlick, S., Davies, G., Polèse, M. and Kitagawa, F. (2006). "Supporting the Contribution of Higher Education Institutions to Regional Development - Peer Review Report: Atlantic Canada." Retrieved on August 9, 2008 from http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/35/59/38455547.pdf] The APCCC produced a “Guide to Block Transfer Agreements” in 2006. These ‘blocks’ usually refer to a semester, year, diploma or certificate transferred from a college to a university. The Guide includes approximately 250 potential credit transfer arrangements. Students can choose from several course delivery mechanisms, including distance e-learning. [Atlantic Provinces Community College Consortium. (2008). "Guide to Block Transfer Agreements." Retrieved on August 9, 2008 from http://www.cicdi.ca/docs/transfers/2007_Atlantic_Community_Colleges_Guide_to_Block_Transfer_Agreements.pdf]

ee also

*Higher education in Canada
*List of universities in Canada
*List of colleges in Canada


Further reading

* Harris, Robin S. (1976) A History of Higher Education in Canada 1663-1960. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
* International Association of Universities. Canada (Nova Scotia / Nouvelle-Ecosse) – Education System. Retrieved October 13, 2007, from http://www.unesco.org/iau/onlinedatabases/systems_data/ca07.rtf
* Jones, G.(Ed.) (1997). "Higher Education in Canada: Different Systems, Different Perspectives". New York: Garland Publishing.
* Nova Scotia Department of Education. Educational Accountability Report, 2006-07. Retrieved May 5, 2008, from http://www.ednet.ns.ca/pdfdocs/businessplan/accountability-report-2006-2007.pdf
* Nova Scotia Department of Education. Department of Education Operational Units. Retrieved May 5, 2008, from http://www.ednet.ns.ca/pdfdocs/businessplan/op2003-04.pdf
* Office of the Legislative Counsel, Nova Scotia House of Assembly. Degree Granting Act. Retrieved May 5, 2008, from http://www.gov.ns.ca/legislature/legc/statutes/degree.htm.
* Province of Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia. Department of Education; Government Administrative Histories Online – Authority Record – Nova Scotia Archives & Records. Retrieved May 12, 2008, from http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/gaho/authority.asp?ID=31
* Province of Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia Advisory Board on College and Universities; Government Administrative Histories Online – Authority Record – Nova Scotia Archives & Records. Retrieved May 12, 2008, from http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/gaho/authority.asp?ID=66

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